Zondo on Agrizzi’s racist tirade: 'What you said was extremely offensive and totally unacceptable'

2019-01-29 16:33
Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi

Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi

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A recording of former Bosasa boss Angelo Agrizzi uttering a string of racist slurs, including the k-word, has been labelled as "extremely offensive and totally unacceptable" by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

The clip was played during Agrizzi's testimony at the state capture commission of inquiry on Tuesday and drew gasps from the public gallery as it was played.

News24 observed tears in the eyes of several members of the media and members of the public.

"That k****r needs a good hiding," Agrizzi can be heard saying at one point.

"Because he is a bloody k****r," he also says. 

The clip has been widely circulated on social media since late last year and was first revealed by City Press in September.

READ: Big boss in k-word tirade

Agrizzi was secretly recorded after a dinner at his Fourways home with Roth and Lindsay Watson, the adult children of Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson.

Also present was Jarrod Watson, their cousin.

K-word

Agrizzi apologised for his comments, and made an impassioned plea to chairperson of the inquiry, Zondo, to judge his evidence on the facts and not based on what he had said "in the privacy of his home".

The clip that was played was quite evidently a cut and collated version of a longer recording, but revealed Agrizzi using the k-word to describe black Bosasa directors at least 10 times.

Agrizzi is under investigation by the SAPS for his statements.

"What you have said there, was extremely offensive and totally unacceptable," Zondo said.

"But, that does not mean that I will not examine your evidence and see where you may be speaking the truth, and where you may not be speaking the truth."

Agrizzi conceded that there was "no excuse" for what he had said, and committed to "doing whatever it takes to fix it".

'The dirty tricks continue'

In the same recording that was leaked to the media and posted to social media sites, Agrizzi also claims that "Adriaan" has been to his home with his "children".

This was ostensibly a reference to News24 editor-in-chief Adriaan Basson, and claims surfacing around the clip suggest that Agrizzi was able to influence Basson in some way.

In a column published on News24 on January 18, Basson denied this.

"As recently as last year, Bosasa, through rogue elements on Twitter, distributed a clip of Agrizzi's racist ramblings in a meeting with Watson's children during which he falsely claims that I visited his house with my children (I visited his house once on my own, after he had turned against Watson, to try and pursuade him to spill the beans). The dirty tricks continue," Basson wrote.

Basson's full column can be read here
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